whale watching

starboard view of whales on the Voyager III

This post isn’t about squids, but it does have a marine theme. Last weekend, I went whale watching with a friend. We booked our trip through the New England Aquarium, and it was loads of fun. The ship took us from the wharf just outside of the Aquarium to Stellwagen Bank, a marine sanctuary east of Boston.

We enjoyed the ride out, even though it was very foggy for most of the ride. As we approached the Bank, the fog began to burn off, and we soon spotted other whale watching vessels, some observing whales in action. We didn’t race over to them right away; rather, we cruised along looking for activity elsewhere. It turns out that there are established rules regarding whale watching, and I got the favorable impression that our captain observed them strictly. Before I booked the tour, I did have some misgivings about it, since I’d heard that whale watching disturbs the whales. I specifically booked through the New England Aquarium because I figured they’d behave responsibly, and I was not disappointed.

We soon found a few whales that were not circled by ships, and we moved over to their vicinity as unobtrusively as possible. In all, we saw three separate groups of humpback whales, some feeding, some with calves. There was a naturalist on board who described what we were seeing, and she did a great job! I’m really very happy with the experience (my poor photos do not do justice to all that we saw), and plan to do this again!

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